Were the mental health benefits of a housing mobility intervention larger for adolescents in higher socioeconomic status families?

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Abstract

Moving to Opportunity (MTO) was a social experiment to test how relocation to lower poverty neighborhoods influences low-income families. Using adolescent data from 4 to 7 year evaluations (aged 12–19, n=2829), we applied gender-stratified intent-to-treat and adherence-adjusted linear regression models, to test effect modification of MTO intervention effects on adolescent mental health. Low parental education, welfare receipt, unemployment and never-married status were not significant effect modifiers. Tailoring mobility interventions by these characteristics may not be necessary to alter impact on adolescent mental health. Because parental enrollment in school and teen parent status adversely modified MTO intervention effects on youth mental health, post-move services that increase guidance and supervision of adolescents may help support post-move adjustment.

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